Three rejected Department of Justice Honors Program applicants will get their day in court after all.
The Honors Program is a big deal. It is “the exclusive means by which the Department hires” entry-level attorneys, and it ultimately determines the composition of the Department’s career attorneys. Three applicants to the program sued the Department, alleging that they never made it to the interview round because of their political affiliations.
Though the Privacy Act generally prohibits government agencies from maintaining records regarding an individual’s exercise of his First Amendment rights, the three plaintiffs claim that senior Justice officials annotated their applications and Internet printouts with notes about their political affiliations.